Baja Expeditions

Baja Mexico: (ZZ-SKEC-19)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_kayak_mexioco_baja_expedition.aspx

Introduction
Baja Mexico


Excellent & Exclusive Sea Kayak Expeditions...

Isla Carmen Circumnavigation
Experience a remote area few people see. Encompassing 60 miles of coastline within the Loreto Bay National Marine Park, circumnavigating Isla Carmen in a sea kayak is one of Baja s best adventures. The Sierra Giganta Range plunges into the Sea of Cortez, creating a stunningly beautiful backdrop during your Baja kayaking trip.
Cliffs of red-hued basalt rising sharply out of the sea and the bold outlines of towering cacti provide the backdrop for paddling sea kayaks 60 miles on this little known, classic 10-day circumnavigation of Baja California’s Isla Carmen, the largest island in Loreto Bay National Marine Park in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).

Loreto to La Paz Expedition
A challenging 12 day trip with ten-days of sea kayaking along a rugged coastline between Loreto and La Paz. Great for the adventurous paddler desiring to experience a remote area few people see.
Encompassing 65 miles of road-less coastline and offshore islands between Loreto and La Paz on the peninsula s eastern coast, this is Baja s classic sea kayak expedition. This coastline is one of the most remote and sparsely populated areas in all of Baja. There are no villages or towns, and the only access to the occasional fish camp is by sea.


Accomodation


Two nights hotel accommodations and 9 nights camping.

Camping Plus
Since 1993, we have created a category of travel we call "camping plus". The food served on our trips is on par with what you get in a first-rate restaurant; we provide all camping gear of the best quality: tents, sleeping bags with clean linens, self-inflating foam pads and comfortable camp seats; you get the best beach sites and you don't have to worry about missing the wildlife. We're all about truly "getting away", but not quite "leaving it all behind". It's rugged adventure with some worldly amenities. And best of all, you'll receive unbeatable support and camaraderie from each of our guides.

Incredible Food
The source of many compliments, our legendary wilderness meals are prepared from fresh, healthy ingredients. Our specialty is Dutch oven cookery with savory main dishes like chili rellenos, baked salmon and vegetable lasagna; and delicious desserts from brownies to pineapple upside-down cake. We serve fresh ground coffee as well as an abundance of local fruits and vegetables. Wine and mixed drinks are served with hors d'oeuvres each evening for happy hour. Special dietary requests can easily be accommodated. There's a special emphasis on our meals because we believe you are entitled to gourmet dining in the wilderness as you are at home.

Riding

Top Quality Kayaks
We paddle ahead of the competition by combining outstanding kayaking destinations with top quality kayaks. Whether you are a first-time kayaker or an experienced paddler, our fiberglass Seaward Southwind tandems and Navigator singles were hand-crafted with you in mind and provide optimum performance, stability and comfort. On some Baja tours, we use SEDA doubles and singles.

Exceptional Guides
It's the experience, professionalism and personality of your guides that ultimately make a trip a success. SKA guides know their outdoor skills as second nature, enjoy people, love and respect the environment and keep a constant weather eye on safety. Each trip has 2-3 guides to assist, inform, and lead the way so you get the most out of your time with us. They are experts at inspiring confidence and trust, as well as sharing conversation, knowledge, games and laughter - and they're great cooks!

Unparalleled Quality Service
We make a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. Impeccable service starts at our office with extensive pre-trip information, communication and immediate response to your questions - professional, yet personal and friendly at the same time. When you sign up, we'll send you our extensive trip handbook detailing all aspects of your adventure from travel arrangements to natural history. During the trip our quality service continues with your guides. Encouraging, respectful, knowledgeable and always smiling, each day they'll help you settle into camp, plan the days' activities, then prepare delicious meals. Our goal is to make sure your vacation is hassle-free from the moment you make your reservation until you're back home. We'll even follow up with you after your trip ends, as your feedback is vital to ensuring our excellent service.

Uncompromising Comfort & Safety

Your safety, comfort and enjoyment are our priorities. Any concerns about risks and physical abilities are handled with the greatest care by our office staff and trip leaders. Your guides are always in close proximity, well equipped and specially trained to handle emergency situations. Your trip leader will provide a comprehensive kayak orientation and safety discussion before you begin paddling. We take your concerns or apprehensions to heart - to make kayaking a positive, fulfilling experience for you. We are fully licensed and permitted to operate in the areas we do, by all necessary government authorities in both Canada and Mexico.

Environmental Ethic
Our tour philosophy combines ecological awareness and low-impact camping techniques with a passion to share these unique ecosystems with our guests. Our belief is "educate, respect, protect". SKA actively supports a number of conservation organizations including The Marine Conservation Association, The Natural Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy and The Ocean Conservancy. We are fully licensed and permitted to operate in the areas we do, by all necessary government authorities in both Canada and Mexico, and pay all required taxes and fees. We promote the hiring and development of local guides, and the protection of the areas' natural resources. We were the first to pioneer the design, manufacture and use of a porta potty that kayaks can carry, and we pack out all our waste products, and recycle all we can.

Itinerary



Samples itineraries 2015 - Subject to changes

Isla Carmen Circumnavigation (11 day trip):

Cliffs of red-hued basalt rising sharply out of the sea and the bold outlines of towering cacti provide the backdrop for paddling sea kayaks 60 miles on this little known, classic 10-day circumnavigation of Baja California’s Isla Carmen, the largest island in Loreto Bay National Marine Park in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California). “Although tour groups visit the southern tip of Carmen, the rest of the island remains mostly wild and untouched,” says Sea Kayak Adventures president Terry Prichard. “Plus, the marine life blows people away – over 280 species of reef fishes, as well as scores of dolphins, sea lions, and five of the big whale species ply the surrounding waters. We are the only company to offer this tour.” You can be among the few to paddle along Carmen’s rocky cliffs through crystal-clear water, coves with sandy beaches, reefs, and sea caves (including Cueva Blanca, where kayakers can explore the cave’s deepest recesses). The islands of Baja’s Sea of Cortez have been called “Mexico’s Galapagos” with their volcanic ash layers, fabulous rock formations, crystal waters, and teeming wildlife. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers the perfect blend of kayaking, hiking and snorkeling. Here you’ll snorkel with brilliant king angelfish and lobster, watch plunge-diving blue-footed booties, and search for 60-foot whale sharks – the world’s largest fish. Pause midway at Salinas Bay to visit an abandoned 19th century salt mine and coral chapel. Afterwards, swim with dolphins in the bay’s 72-degree water. You will paddle about four hours per day, broken up by lunch and rest stops, during your Baja sea kayak tour. A two-day paddle rounding the island’s remote north shore leads to Balandra Bay, where you can hike an arroyo into the island’s desert interior past saguaro-like cardon cactus and wild figs in the company of desert iguanas and big-horned sheep. From your tented camps in sheltered coves, watch vermillion skies as they illuminate the banded layers of the Sierra de la Giganta range, the plume of a whale lingering in the still air, and leaping manta rays flopping back into the glassy water as guides dish out margaritas and tasty chili rellenos. The expedition begins with your arrival in Loreto and, after an adventurous ten days of paddling, you'll arrive at the take-out site near Puerto Escondido.

Day 1: Fly to Loreto from Los Angeles. You'll be met by our ground service and transported to our hotel in Loreto. Group orientation meeting with trip leader at 6 PM. Dinner on your own in town.

Day 2:
After breakfast the group meets outside the hotel to board the van for the drive south to our launch point near Puerto Escondido. At the beach the guides will give a comprehensive sea kayak instruction and then we'll paddle the loaded kayaks to our first campsite.


Days 3-9:
Each day's paddle is 7-8 miles; or 4 to 5 hours of moderately paced paddling, stopping every 2 hours to rest. We'll spend the afternoons exploring by foot and snorkel. Activities include a nature hike up an arroyo, as well as opportunities for beach combing, wildlife viewing, photography, stargazing, and swimming in crystal clear waters.


Day 10:
After a final lunch, we break camp and paddle to our take-out site around 2 PM. Load van and proceed to Loreto. Check into hotel. No host farewell group dinner at a favorite local restaurant.


Day 11:
You are on your own for transportation to the airport for your flight homeward. You can use C&C English-speaking, air conditioned van transport for $8 each, or taxis (Spanish-speaking) are easily found, approximately $5-6/person; BUT depart for the airport no later than 2 hours before flight.





Loreto to La Paz Expedition (12 day trip):

Encompassing 65 miles of road-less coastline and offshore islands between Loreto and La Paz on the peninsula's eastern coast, this is Baja's classic sea kayak expedition. This coastline is one of the most remote and sparsely populated areas in all of Baja. There are no villages or towns, and the only access to the occasional fish camp is by sea. The Sierra Giganta Range plunges into the Sea of Cortez, effectively isolating the area from the rest of the peninsula and creating a stunningly beautiful backdrop the entire trip. We'll make camps on beaches that dot the base of these magnificent mountains. Canyon hikes take us into the desert interior, while kayaking allows an intimate exploration of the many coves and sea caves.
The clear waters of the Sea of Cortez teem with colorful life, and the snorkeling around the shallow reefs and vertical ledges is excellent. We see pods of dolphins, as well as massive whales. You'll paddle past towering volcanic peaks, miles of unexplored beaches and forests of giant cardon cactus. Prehistoric-looking frigate birds circle high above while squadrons of pelicans glide across the glassy water. The expedition begins with your arrival in Loreto and after an adventurous 10 days of paddling you'll arrive at the take-out site near La Paz.

Day 1:
Fly to Loreto from Los Angeles. You'll be met by our ground service and transported to our hotel in Loreto. Group orientation meeting with trip leader at 6 PM. Dinner on your own in town.


Day 2:
After breakfast the group meets outside the hotel to board the van for the drive south to our launch point near Agua Verde. At the beach the guides will give a comprehensive sea kayak instruction and then we'll paddle the kayaks down the coast to our first campsite.


Days 3-10:
Each day's paddle is 7-12 miles; or 5 to 6 hours of moderately paced paddling, stopping every 2 hours to rest. We'll spend the afternoons exploring by foot and snorkel. Activities include a nature hike up an arroyo and visits to the remains of a Jesuit Mission and to a small fishing village, as well as opportunities for beach combing, wildlife viewing, photography, stargazing, and swimming in crystal clear waters.


Day 11:
In the morning we break camp and paddle to our take-out site near Punta Coyote, where we'll be met by vans for transport to La Paz. After checking into the hotel there is time to shower and explore the town. This evening there is a no-host farewell dinner at a local restaurant fronting the yacht harbor, where we'll toast our new kayaking skills, and new found friends.


Day 12:
You are on your own for transportation to the airport for your flight homeward. Taxis (Spanish-speaking) are easily found; BUT depart for the airport no later than 2 hours before flight.



Note: We will do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above. However, the itinerary may change due to reasons beyond our control such as wind, waves, unexpected unsafe circumstances or inclement weather. First and last days for any Baja tour are arrival and departure days.


Rates and Dates for Baja Expeditions

Rates include:

Accommodation (2 nights hotel, the rest are camping nights), airport transfer on arrival only, camping equipment & sleeping bags, kayak gear & instruction for 10 days, naturalist guides, meals at camp, taxes.

Packages and Options





Transfer and Other Options:



 Description
2012 Transfer on arrival from Loreto airport is included. Drop off either in Loreto or La Paz - departure airport transfer not included!

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Any meals in town, National Park fees, snorkel and wet suit rentals, airport transfer on departure

Other Info
Meeting: Loreto
Airport: Loreto
Transfer: Loreto

Climate:

The weather in Loreto is generally mild in the winter with day-time temperatures averaging 70 to 85 degrees and night-time temperatures averaging 40 to 55 degrees between December and mid-March. Spring day-time temperatures average 75 to 90 degrees and night-time temperatures average 50 to 65 degrees between mid-March and May. Loreto is in a desert where the possibility of rain is very small, but it can happen. Winds can occur anytime but are more frequent from December through February. Magdalena Bay air temperatures are a little cooler than on the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula. Water temperatures in the Sea of Cortez range from 65 degrees in December to 73 degrees in May requiring the use of a shorty 3mm wet suit for extended snorkeling. In October and November, air temperatures range from 80 to 90 degrees and water temperatures range from 75 to 80 degrees.

What To Bring:

 

PERSONAL EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

 

Follow this list when packing.  On most of our tours, we'll be paddling totally self-contained, which means we carry our food and water in the kayaks.  Please keep in mind that your gear (with exception of sleeping bag and pad) has to fit in the waterproof bags handed out at the group meeting, so we recommend following our list below.  Casual, comfortable camping clothes are perfect.

 

Duffel bags make good traveling luggage.  Use a small one for your clothes and essential items and take as carry-on luggage.  Suitcases, duffels and travel clothing may be left at the hotel.   Please note that airlines are imposing stiffer restrictions on the number and size of carry-on luggage.

 

A roomy two-person dome tent, warm rectangular sleeping bag with clean sheet and thermarest-style inflatable pad are provided for your convenience as well as a comfortable camp chair.  We recommend you bring your own snorkeling gear, or you can rent it from us as well as wetsuit - ask us for details.

 

CLOTHING

___ 1 pair light cotton/synthetic blend pants (no jeans)               ___ Swim suit (& sports bras)

___ 2 pair shorts (quick-dry nylon)                                        ___ 2-3 t-shirts

___ 1 pair long underwear top & bottom (polypropylene)     ___ 1 fleece jacket or wool sweater

___ 1-2 long sleeve lightweight cotton or SPF synthetic       ___ 1 rain jacket/windbreaker

        shirts for sun protection                                                  ___  Sun hat with broad brim

___ 1 pr lightweight water shoes (aquasocks, keens)                 ___ Warm (fleece or wool) hat

___ 1 pair sandals with ankle straps for camp                        ___ 2 Bandanas (multipurpose)

___ 1 pair running/walking shoes and 2 pairs socks for camp ___ Underwear

___  rash guard top & leotards or similar for snorkeling

For Dec-Feb trips, add another warm fleece/wool long-sleeve top and rain or wind pants to the list above as nights can be 45 degrees F, and omit some t-shirts.

 

TOILET KIT  (all gels in 3 oz trial sizes go in one quart ziplock bag if you put in a carry-on bag)

___ Personal medicines/prescriptions                                        ___ Sunscreen SPF 15-45

___ Toiletry kit w/toothbrush & paste, etc                             ___ Lip balm SPF 15-30

___ Biodegradable soap & regular shampoo                          ___ Dry skin lotion

___ Small camp towel & wash cloth                                      ___ Pre-moistened towelettes

___ Contact lens solutions                                                             for freshening up - feels great!

___ Insect repellent if prone to insect bites (rarely needed)   ___ Extra eyeglasses/contacts

 

MISCELLANEOUS GEAR

___ 1-2 Water bottles (1 quart capacity each)                        ___ Camera/film/batteries

___ Binoculars (in plastic ziplock bag)                                  ___ Headlamp/batteries/bulb

___ Sunglasses with retaining strap                                       ___ Reading material

___ Gloves  (quick dry; to prevent blisters/sunburn)             ___ Mask, snorkel & fins

___ 2-4 Zip-lock baggies & 2 garbage bags                          ___ Personal snacks, protein bars or meat

___ Fanny pack w/water bottle holders (optional)                 jerky if desired (we do provide trail mix)

___ Wetsuit (even if weather hot, ocean is cold Dec-April)  ___ ID & valuables

___ Pillowcase (handy to stuff with clothes to make a pillow)

 

Note:  There will be no opportunity for fresh water showers once we leave the hotel.  However, bathing with salt water, regular shampoo & towel does the job well and will not leave your skin feeling sticky.